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Author Topic: SMiLE was ready in 1967 - discuss  (Read 14987 times)
Galaxy Liz
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« Reply #425 on: July 28, 2022, 01:02:46 AM »

The question on the push back against Da Da being used within water is one I'd like to understand the answer to.  

As I said earlier documentation has it's limitations, you can only extract from it what was put into it and it is vulnerable in lots of ways including error.  To understand someone's thought we have to rely on the things they have said and in the case of a composer, the music they have written and the clues are there.  I also understand that when you feel you are contributing to a history that you must be careful about being correct but when it is an art history speculation on what it may be trying to convey, meaning, concept and interpretation are standard and sometimes vital to understanding of it when some aspects may be lost in the future due to loss of information over time and our changing way of life.  (For example Leonardo's Lady with Ermine - we know she is carrying the ermine because it was the emblem of her lover - common knowledge at the time, but no longer.) And I really do think and hope that Smile will survive a long way into the future.

Thanks again JakeH.
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rab2591
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« Reply #426 on: July 28, 2022, 05:58:51 AM »

I've had some difficulty following this thread, but I gather that there has been some dispute over what "Love to Say Da Da" is, or was, supposed to be.

It seems that Brian is working on the song in some form in late December 1966. Dates of December 22-23 have ( I thought) been out there, and sloopjohnb72 here in this thread has mentioend December 27-28.  I certainly am not one to know whether or not it was just instrumental/piano in these days, or if Brian had already come up with the wah-wah-whoa-ah vocal pattern at this point in December.

In any case, these late December days constitute the time period during which Paul Williams of Crawdaddy magazine visited Brian at his house. Williams recounted time spent in Brian's swimming pool early in the morning of Dec. 24, 1966:

So at the end of the night we went to the pool, watched by the dogs. I kept my glasses on, because standing in that pool we could see the lights of Los Angeles (or the Valley) twinkling below us like a natural wonder. The water was warm.  Brian told me enthusiastically the it was heated to exactly 98.6, body temperature. ‘So if you get down in the water like this’ (he demonstrated) ‘and stand up, it’s like being born, like the feeling of being born.’"

This suggests that to Brian's way of thinking at the time, "water" and baby" and "rebirth" go together - each are components of one whole conceptual piece; it's not either-or.  The fact that a "baby" song could morph into a "water" song would then seem to be natural and understandable . And in Brian Wilson Presents Smile, the concept is fully realized. The idea comes to full fruition in the third movement, which in my opinion is perfect, as (among other things) it makes perfect use of the "Da Da" concept and music. In those passages, BWPS fully actualizes the idea that Brian was talking to Paul Williams about that night in the swimming pool.

Excellent reference.

The lineage is indeed more than plausible, it lines up very well to where Brian's mind was at, at that time. One of the themes in the movie "Seconds", if not the main theme, is that of "rebirth". In Seconds, the movie that freaked Brian out in Fall '66 because he saw his life play out in the plot, it's a secret corporation which provides a rebirth for those who want and can afford it. For Brian, it's said he experienced a "rebirth" during one of his LSD trips earlier. No dirty laundry, it's been mentioned for many years. It led in ways to the conception of his "Teenage Symphony To God". I wish Bill Tobelman could chime in, I really miss his insights and writings.

All of this begs the question: If this information has been published and on the record for how many years, and the quote is one which other fans have read before and are reminded of thanks to the posting above, why was there such a pushback to the notion that "DaDa" was not connected to the "water" concept? The logic of it adds up, the timeline and connection to Brian's mindset at the time adds up, and on a visceral level it just seems to fit.

And it brings out my opinion which I was meaning to post anyway, after Don Malcom's two excellent posts and insights: The full story of Smile cannot be found in, and cannot be told solely on, the basis of AFM contracts, corporate memos and documents, and reels of tape and their boxes. The majority of what happened was not recorded on those formats, and encompasses much more. I hope ideas and opinions that have merit, and are based in fact, are not dismissed as overtly and sometimes as harshly as they were earlier in this discussion.

Here is a link to his webpage on LTSDD: http://www.goodhumorsmile.com/page17.htm

It has some interesting tidbits in there about the possible meanings behind the song.
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« Reply #427 on: July 28, 2022, 06:42:59 AM »

I've had some difficulty following this thread, but I gather that there has been some dispute over what "Love to Say Da Da" is, or was, supposed to be.

It seems that Brian is working on the song in some form in late December 1966. Dates of December 22-23 have ( I thought) been out there, and sloopjohnb72 here in this thread has mentioend December 27-28.  I certainly am not one to know whether or not it was just instrumental/piano in these days, or if Brian had already come up with the wah-wah-whoa-ah vocal pattern at this point in December.

In any case, these late December days constitute the time period during which Paul Williams of Crawdaddy magazine visited Brian at his house. Williams recounted time spent in Brian's swimming pool early in the morning of Dec. 24, 1966:

So at the end of the night we went to the pool, watched by the dogs. I kept my glasses on, because standing in that pool we could see the lights of Los Angeles (or the Valley) twinkling below us like a natural wonder. The water was warm.  Brian told me enthusiastically the it was heated to exactly 98.6, body temperature. ‘So if you get down in the water like this’ (he demonstrated) ‘and stand up, it’s like being born, like the feeling of being born.’"

This suggests that to Brian's way of thinking at the time, "water" and baby" and "rebirth" go together - each are components of one whole conceptual piece; it's not either-or.  The fact that a "baby" song could morph into a "water" song would then seem to be natural and understandable . And in Brian Wilson Presents Smile, the concept is fully realized. The idea comes to full fruition in the third movement, which in my opinion is perfect, as (among other things) it makes perfect use of the "Da Da" concept and music. In those passages, BWPS fully actualizes the idea that Brian was talking to Paul Williams about that night in the swimming pool.

Excellent reference.

The lineage is indeed more than plausible, it lines up very well to where Brian's mind was at, at that time. One of the themes in the movie "Seconds", if not the main theme, is that of "rebirth". In Seconds, the movie that freaked Brian out in Fall '66 because he saw his life play out in the plot, it's a secret corporation which provides a rebirth for those who want and can afford it. For Brian, it's said he experienced a "rebirth" during one of his LSD trips earlier. No dirty laundry, it's been mentioned for many years. It led in ways to the conception of his "Teenage Symphony To God". I wish Bill Tobelman could chime in, I really miss his insights and writings.

All of this begs the question: If this information has been published and on the record for how many years, and the quote is one which other fans have read before and are reminded of thanks to the posting above, why was there such a pushback to the notion that "DaDa" was not connected to the "water" concept? The logic of it adds up, the timeline and connection to Brian's mindset at the time adds up, and on a visceral level it just seems to fit.

And it brings out my opinion which I was meaning to post anyway, after Don Malcom's two excellent posts and insights: The full story of Smile cannot be found in, and cannot be told solely on, the basis of AFM contracts, corporate memos and documents, and reels of tape and their boxes. The majority of what happened was not recorded on those formats, and encompasses much more. I hope ideas and opinions that have merit, and are based in fact, are not dismissed as overtly and sometimes as harshly as they were earlier in this discussion.

Here is a link to his webpage on LTSDD: http://www.goodhumorsmile.com/page17.htm

It has some interesting tidbits in there about the possible meanings behind the song.

I've seen this! It's very convincing IMHO.
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rab2591
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« Reply #428 on: July 28, 2022, 08:01:24 AM »

Honestly I'm not sure what to believe regarding all the zen/LSD/koestler stuff. However, I am beyond grateful that Bill has compiled all these quotes together for each/every aspect of Smile for us to ruminate on. I remember ages ago Bill was getting a lot of flack for his theories from a certain sect of the fandom - and honestly I don't get why there is so much over-the-top push-back on this stuff.

I get that we want an accurate historical record, but the lengths which people go to admonish certain ideas/theories gets ridiculous...especially when there are obvious layers of complexity with Smile. There are definitely theories/rumors that are just flat-out untrue, and I think it's important to set the record straight, but there is also a lot of gray area regarding many different aspects of Smile.

Edit: and I want to add that I appreciate every person's contributions to this thread. I think each aspect of this topic should be delved into, and I'm grateful for the knowledge that people bring to this forum.

I believe in a multiplicity of Smiles, and I have no interest in saying what is or is not legitimately Smile. Smile contains multitudes. Brian Wilson Presents Smile is absolutely, authentically, Smile. It sure as *hell* has a stronger claim to being Smile than the *imaginary version of Smile I, a fan, have created in my own mind!* And yet, it's also true that the Smile-of-the-mind which has been laid out in one of the multiple conversations that make up this long and polyphonic thread, is certainly more accurate, historically, to what Brian was aiming for in the fall of 1966 than Brian Wilson Presents Smile. These two facts are not in contradiction. They are just based on different ways of viewing the world. The historian versus the artist, perhaps, although it is certainly more complicated than that!

BJL, I meant to respond to this post a few days ago. Your whole post was excellent, but I did want to clarify one thing regarding my "BWPS is the legitimate Smile" comment: I basically mean that Brian has the final authority on what he considers Smile. He is the artist, Smile is his project, and I think he considers his BWPS to be his completed version of Smile. There are a ton of different Smiles, no doubt (I have many favorite fan mixes that I listen to)...and yes, some are definitely closer to a historically accurate 1966 version of Smile than BWPS. But the final authority on what Smile is, that rests in the creator's hands...Darian said that when Brian was handed the final BWPS CD, Brian held the CD to his chest, trembling, and said "I'm going to hold this dear to my heart." - that kind of love for his project makes it clear that BWPS is Brian's Smile...and thus it is the legitimate product.

Basically I think my hard-headed perspective on this stems from some fans just not believing that BWPS is the finished product (which is sadly something I have read far too often in the fandom)...a perspective that I just don't understand. The way I see it, if Beethoven started a symphony in his 20s, shelved it, then completed it towards the end of his life, 400 years later we wouldn't say "well did he really finish that symphony though?" We wouldn't question it because clearly Beethoven has the final authority on what he completes/finalizes. So why is Brian Wilson any different?

Also BJL, all of the above isn't really in response to your post as I do agree with your post and I don't think we disagree about anything. The above comments are more aimed at those who just don't see BWPS as Smile. Your post just made me want to clarify my position on the topic.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2022, 08:03:33 AM by rab2591 » Logged

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« Reply #429 on: July 28, 2022, 08:23:15 AM »

Honestly I'm not sure what to believe regarding all the zen/LSD/koestler stuff. However, I am beyond grateful that Bill has compiled all these quotes together for each/every aspect of Smile for us to ruminate on. I remember ages ago Bill was getting a lot of flack for his theories from a certain sect of the fandom - and honestly I don't get why there is so much over-the-top push-back on this stuff.

I get that we want an accurate historical record, but the lengths which people go to admonish certain ideas/theories gets ridiculous...especially when there are obvious layers of complexity with Smile. There are definitely theories/rumors that are just flat-out untrue, and I think it's important to set the record straight, but there is also a lot of gray area regarding many different aspects of Smile.

Edit: and I want to add that I appreciate every person's contributions to this thread. I think each aspect of this topic should be delved into, and I'm grateful for the knowledge that people bring to this forum.

I believe in a multiplicity of Smiles, and I have no interest in saying what is or is not legitimately Smile. Smile contains multitudes. Brian Wilson Presents Smile is absolutely, authentically, Smile. It sure as *hell* has a stronger claim to being Smile than the *imaginary version of Smile I, a fan, have created in my own mind!* And yet, it's also true that the Smile-of-the-mind which has been laid out in one of the multiple conversations that make up this long and polyphonic thread, is certainly more accurate, historically, to what Brian was aiming for in the fall of 1966 than Brian Wilson Presents Smile. These two facts are not in contradiction. They are just based on different ways of viewing the world. The historian versus the artist, perhaps, although it is certainly more complicated than that!

BJL, I meant to respond to this post a few days ago. Your whole post was excellent, but I did want to clarify one thing regarding my "BWPS is the legitimate Smile" comment: I basically mean that Brian has the final authority on what he considers Smile. He is the artist, Smile is his project, and I think he considers his BWPS to be his completed version of Smile. There are a ton of different Smiles, no doubt (I have many favorite fan mixes that I listen to)...and yes, some are definitely closer to a historically accurate 1966 version of Smile than BWPS. But the final authority on what Smile is, that rests in the creator's hands...Darian said that when Brian was handed the final BWPS CD, Brian held the CD to his chest, trembling, and said "I'm going to hold this dear to my heart." - that kind of love for his project makes it clear that BWPS is Brian's Smile...and thus it is the legitimate product.

Basically I think my hard-headed perspective on this stems from some fans just not believing that BWPS is the finished product (which is sadly something I have read far too often in the fandom)...a perspective that I just don't understand. The way I see it, if Beethoven started a symphony in his 20s, shelved it, then completed it towards the end of his life, 400 years later we wouldn't say "well did he really finish that symphony though?" We wouldn't question it because clearly Beethoven has the final authority on what he completes/finalizes. So why is Brian Wilson any different?

Also BJL, all of the above isn't really in response to your post as I do agree with your post and I don't think we disagree about anything. The above comments are more aimed at those who just don't see BWPS as Smile. Your post just made me want to clarify my position on the topic.

I'm not sure that I believe in all the Zen stuff but maybe Brian did... at that time.

BWPS is Brian's SMiLE, of course.Brian is known for doing various versions of things and maybe HAD SMiLE been ready in 1967 it would have been different. Better? Worse? More suited to its time perhaps. Or maybe, wildly ahead of its time. I think the reason people rearrange SMiLE - well, there are two reasons. Firstly, the very nature of it, the myriad of small modules, invites it to be assembled in a variety of ways and secondly, it became a habit whilst people waited for the release and that second-hand sort of creativity was enjoyable. People had come to regard the music and the lyrics as a puzzle - loads of articles as well as assemblages. What does it all MEAN? And that's OK. I've seen various series on the secrets of particular paintings, and musical works too. All part of life's rich pageant.
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« Reply #430 on: July 28, 2022, 08:53:44 AM »

Honestly I'm not sure what to believe regarding all the zen/LSD/koestler stuff. However, I am beyond grateful that Bill has compiled all these quotes together for each/every aspect of Smile for us to ruminate on. I remember ages ago Bill was getting a lot of flack for his theories from a certain sect of the fandom - and honestly I don't get why there is so much over-the-top push-back on this stuff.

I get that we want an accurate historical record, but the lengths which people go to admonish certain ideas/theories gets ridiculous...especially when there are obvious layers of complexity with Smile. There are definitely theories/rumors that are just flat-out untrue, and I think it's important to set the record straight, but there is also a lot of gray area regarding many different aspects of Smile.


I think the key is "from a certain sect of the fandom". There are narratives they may want to push over others...care to speculate on a few examples? I'll give two: One, That Brian was too zonked out on drugs and it amplified his paranoia and prevented him from working methodically and thinking rationally about plans for his music, and he eventually checked out and went to bed. Two, That the other band members supported and encouraged what Brian was doing during Smile, that they loved the music, and the proof can be found in the basic fact that they sang on the music he wrote for them.

The former was presented into a court of law as a legal filing for a lawsuit after BWPS, it has been portrayed in a TV movie purported to be the "official" story of the band, and has been expressed multiple times in many ways since. Did Brian also say this? Yes, alongside at least a dozen various reasons he's given when asked what happened to Smile.

The latter was displayed most prominently when "webisodes" were created to promote the Smile box set and uploaded to YouTube. You'd think the band members interviewed were all supportive and blown away by the "new music" to hear them speak while promoting that box set.

Neither one is accurate in its completeness. The story, the facts if you will, lies somewhere in the middle, encapsulating many more factors than what some of those factions or sects wish to emphasize over others. Again, just consider why and for what purpose that would be an effort to pursue, and what or who would benefit. If the goal is telling as complete a story as possible, there should not be efforts to diminish, discredit, or otherwise simply ignore key parts of that story.

And that brings it to the element of spirituality, study, and the concept of enlightenment that Bill's site features so well. Brian *was* doing a lot of reading, a lot of studying, and a lot of exploring at this specific time. He was exploring and studying multiple religions and religious theories and philosophies, he was actively attending group studies on various pursuits involving spirituality, meditation, and philosophy, and yes that was studying meditation BEFORE meeting the Maharishi in late 1967 at the concert event. In fact, reports say that what Brian was studying was a precursor to the Maharishi becoming the face of Transcendental Meditation and before he helped it become a "brand" that would be sold worldwide using various rock stars, millionaires, and other public faces to build the brand and increase their coffers. Brian was exploring the techniques at least a full year before the Beach Boys met the Maharishi, in and around LA, with other musicians like members of the Byrds. I did a pretty full rundown of that, maybe 5-6 years ago, and put that information on this forum: I'd be happy to dig it up if anyone is interested.

And it's not hearsay or speculation: The people who were around him perhaps more than the other Beach Boys at certain times in '66 and '67 report Brian's involvement in these pursuits, and how he was exploring different forms of religious philosophy and spirituality. There is even a news clipping reporting that Brian was working on a musical "mass" for one of these groups...during Smile. I'll dig that up just for fun in this thread.

So it cannot be written off, or dismissed, because it was a factor and even an inspiration while the music was being created.

And I always like to say, for those who use the "well, the other Beach Boys sang on it" point, listen to the session tapes from Smile and tell me the guy heard on the talkback running those sessions sounds like he's zonked out on drugs and rambling unfocused on the task at hand. It's laser focus. So as much as the tape evidence can be massaged to try making the first point, so can it be used to demonstrate that the other point wasn't always the case either.

The truth all lies somewhere in the middle, sometimes more middle than others.



« Last Edit: July 28, 2022, 08:54:55 AM by guitarfool2002 » Logged

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« Reply #431 on: July 28, 2022, 09:02:16 AM »

Here are two articles I referenced in the last post, for anyone interested in Brian and his studies of religion and spirituality in 1966:





Bill Tobelman's website does a great job trying to tie all of this together with published examples and background history, I highly recommend anyone interested check it out too. It's clearly something Brian was involved with and something that inspired the music too.

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« Reply #432 on: July 28, 2022, 09:36:57 AM »

Am I the only one feeling like a thread from the old legendary Smile Shop had been miraculously teleported into this forum? Makes me feel younger!
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« Reply #433 on: July 28, 2022, 09:43:36 AM »

Am I the only one feeling like a thread from the old legendary Smile Shop had been miracolously teleported into this forum? Makes me feel younger!

That's true, and I think because the Smile Shop closed nearly 20 years ago at this point, there are probably many new and younger fans who have not seen or read the kind of information that used to be discussed and revealed there on a weekly basis. So it may be important to reintroduce these topics for those new fans, some of whom may not have been born when all this was originally being hashed out. And it shows again how it's important to keep all of the information available and actively discussed if there is a possibility many fans who have found Smile in the last 10 years may only know a portion of this stuff.

I would hate to see a 19 year old musician in the year 2040 or something discovering Smile, and reading an "official" history that states Brian was zonked out on drugs while making Smile and couldn't find his way through to finish it for that reason. I think some narratives would be OK with telling that story, who knows, but it would be erasing the most fascinating parts of the story from the record if anything similar were to happen.
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« Reply #434 on: July 28, 2022, 09:48:49 AM »

The question on the push back against Da Da being used within water is one I'd like to understand the answer to.  

At risk of beating a dead horse, I’m going to take the bait here and restate what I think has been said in this thread so far about Love to Say Da Da. Frankly, I continue to find this conversation *incredibly* compelling.

In this thread, we learned two dramatic new (to me, anyway!) *facts* about Love to Say Da Da. We learned these fact from tape boxes and the tapes inside of them. No, tape boxes are not the be all and end all of historical information, but, at the same time, they can be a very useful source of *certain kinds* of facts.

Those two facts are, first, that the first version of Love to Say Da Da, recorded in December, was edited onto a tape with the verse of Do You Like Worms, shortly after Brian Wilson had cut the chorus of Do You Like Worms out of the song to use in Heroes and Villains. There ends the fact itself. However, this fact *strongly* suggests that Love to Say Da Da was originally conceived as a discrete song of its own, not as the water section of the Elements.

Now, this fact has led us, collectively, in this thread, to some very interesting new ideas about this song. First, that Love to Say Da Da was probably not conceived as the water section of the elements (and no, we cannot know for sure!), does *not* mean that the song is not associated with water as a theme, but given that I, and many other people, had long assumed that Love to Say Da Da was almost *certainly* explicitly the water section of the elements, it is very, very interesting information.

Secondly, the quotes and ideas that a variety of members have assembled on this board strongly suggest three sets of associations for Love to Say Da Da in December: first, with babies, the “cycle of life” idea, second with water, and third with *Hawaii!* This is a place where the stuff Liz and Angela are saying is actually I think even *more* interesting than they’ve realized. Because, yes, Marilyn’s quote definitely implies a strong connection to babies, and the Hawaiian chant sounds like baby talk. *But* Do You Like Worms is, of course, strongly associated with Hawaii, and if Love to Say Da Da was originally connected to Do You Like Worms, than the Hawaii connection—and the water connection—are incredibly compelling!

The second fact, which, again, was very, very surprising to me, was that the “Water” chant which has been edited onto the beginning of Love to Say Da Da since at least the 90s, was actually not a Smile recording at all. It was recorded in Brian’s home studio to be the *fade* to Cool Cool Water either during the Smiley Smile or Wild Honey sessions. This is a *mind-blowing* discovery to me. Again, this doesn’t mean that there is no association at all between Love to Say Da Da and the idea of water. But it just changes the relationship of those last Smile sessions to the themes and ideas Brian was working with in 1967. It opens up a lot of room for conversation, speculation, theorizing, and wondering.

I agree with guitarfool and others that there are some moments in this thread where the individuals pointing out these new facts were a bit overbearing. But at the same time, these two new facts, learned from tape boxes, have opened up a fascinating conversation. And when that quote about birth and the swimming pool being at body temperature was brought into the thread, explicitly connecting the idea of birth and babies with the idea of water, in an authentic quote from 1966 just days away from the Love to Say Da Da sessions - I mean, that’s the kind of stuff I live for! That is incredible! New information, new facts, lead to new ways of looking at the evidence, new theories, and new ideas. That’s what I see happening in this thread and I love it!!!
« Last Edit: July 28, 2022, 09:57:52 AM by BJL » Logged
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« Reply #435 on: July 28, 2022, 09:56:22 AM »

Basically I think my hard-headed perspective on this stems from some fans just not believing that BWPS is the finished product (which is sadly something I have read far too often in the fandom)...a perspective that I just don't understand. The way I see it, if Beethoven started a symphony in his 20s, shelved it, then completed it towards the end of his life, 400 years later we wouldn't say "well did he really finish that symphony though?" We wouldn't question it because clearly Beethoven has the final authority on what he completes/finalizes. So why is Brian Wilson any different?

Also BJL, all of the above isn't really in response to your post as I do agree with your post and I don't think we disagree about anything. The above comments are more aimed at those who just don't see BWPS as Smile. Your post just made me want to clarify my position on the topic.

Yea, I agree with this. I've never been a huge fan of Brian Wilson Presents Smile (in terms of like, choosing to listen to it), but I couldn't count the number of times I've watched the live Smile DVD. Seeing Brian perform his *completed* Smile with a huge smile on his face! My god. It is a shame that the instrumentation Smile is scored for is probably too unusual for it to enter the contemporary classic repertoire, because that is a *composition* that works so, so, so well in performance!

Just an observation, but I think the biggest thing hurting BWPS's status as *the* Smile is Brian's lead vocals. If Brian had followed a more normal vocal trajectory, and his voice at 62 had been basically the same voice he sang with at 25, just a little richer and deeper, than its status would be much more assured. But obviously, this has nothing to do with how completed the music is, its more just like...an unconnected fact that can't help coloring the experience of listening.
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« Reply #436 on: July 28, 2022, 10:02:21 AM »

And speaking of zonked out on drugs - listen to them all giggling senselessly, high as kites on Little Pad - a track from Smiley Smile which they released...pot/kettle/black.  It was just gaslighting blaming him for the none release in that way.
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« Reply #437 on: July 28, 2022, 11:33:14 AM »

Just an observation, but I think the biggest thing hurting BWPS's status as *the* Smile is Brian's lead vocals. If Brian had followed a more normal vocal trajectory, and his voice at 62 had been basically the same voice he sang with at 25, just a little richer and deeper, than its status would be much more assured. But obviously, this has nothing to do with how completed the music is, its more just like...an unconnected fact that can't help coloring the experience of listening.

Yeah, and I'd add that the background vocals being imperfect copies of Beach Boys vocals lends to that status as well...and by "imperfect", I just mean that even with all the talent Brian's band has, it just can't match the vocal beauty/uniqueness of the original Beach Boys blend. They sure do a phenomenal job of emulating it. But it's just not the same.

Case in point, the "Hooga Ha" vocal chants in the chorus of Roll Plymouth Rock from BWPS are emulated note-for-note from the original sessions, but they still sound a lot different, same with Our Prayer. I will say that I love the addition of Taylor Mills' vocals in 'I Wanna Be Around'. I also find the tail end of Vega-Tables on BWPS infinitely more beautiful than the tag on TSS version.

The instrumentals are just phenomenal on BWPS though - even with the MIDI harpsichord. I really dislike 'Holidays' on TSS - as it sounds like it was recorded with a potato, made into an acetate, played 30 times, then revived for the Smile Sessions. Whereas 'On A Holiday' on BWPS sounds so crisp and clear - the flutes aren't awash in analog noise, they are just flutes. And the marimbas sound so clear, you feel like you're in the same room as them.

There are pros and cons to both TSS (and fan mixes) and BWPS. But overall I just see BWPS as a finished product, straight from the hand of Brian Wilson.
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« Reply #438 on: July 28, 2022, 12:05:52 PM »

Brian’s 2003/2004 “Smile” is just an entirely other beast. And really the best case scenario for how to handle an attempt to sort-of “finish” it.

The idea of Brian or Brian with the Beach Boys overdubbing onto the old tapes wouldn’t have worked once the band hit like the mid-70s, let alone the 80s or 90s or 2003. So re-recording it to put together a “finished” piece is the best approach, so at least everything sounds consistent unto itself. I mean, would it have been interesting to have Mike, Al, and Bruce add vocals as well? Sure, of course. But that was just never going to happen given the politics of that era (the Mike-Al stuff alone would have made it difficult), and while nothing beats group BB vocals, it obviously was of great import to “finish” the piece as a Brian piece.

I never approached Brian’s “Smile” as if this was “how it would have sounded” back then. It’s just a re-interpretation, with varying degrees of attempts to attack it as if it were 1967. To me, the whole project was worth it just to hear “Wonderful” and “Look” linked.

As with most things, my “go to” for the material is all over the place. I go to the original stuff for much of it. I absolutely see the 1971 “Surf’s Up” as the definitive version (it needs the bass notes near the end of the second movement). Brian’s “Smile” is a way to digest the whole thing. I think the singing and playing is impeccable from his band. I think having Mike and Al especially in that vocal mix would have helped, but I recognize that was a non-starter back then.

I hope (but doubt) Darian Sahanaja got a few producer points on that project even without a producer credit for the amount of help he offered on that thing.  
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« Reply #439 on: July 28, 2022, 12:18:09 PM »

For me, Brian's vocals on BWPS are actually key -- they're what makes the entire endeavor a discrete artistic entity, one deserving of its own recognition and praise. Sure, most of the material had been composed more than 30 years before. But the arrangement, a handful of new lyrics and (above all) his willingness to engage with the material made the project special. This wasn't a remake, it was a resurrection, one as much personal as it was musical.

So hearing the 60-something Brian doesn't just make sense. It deepens the artistic experience. It makes a teenage symphony to God a parallel old man's testimony of survival. The quest of the music isn't just across the United States, but is from childhood to old age and beyond. It transforms Smile from being an assemblage of mid-60s concepts into a layered metaphor of Brian's own endurance. When you hit that Hawaii section at the end, when the music transforms into a joyous bounce, you're celebrating an artistic renewal.
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« Reply #440 on: July 28, 2022, 12:26:30 PM »

For me, Brian's vocals on BWPS are actually key -- they're what makes the entire endeavor a discrete artistic entity, one deserving of its own recognition and praise. Sure, most of the material had been composed more than 30 years before. But the arrangement, a handful of new lyrics and (above all) his willingness to engage with the material made the project special. This wasn't a remake, it was a resurrection, one as much personal as it was musical.

So hearing the 60-something Brian doesn't just make sense. It deepens the artistic experience. It makes a teenage symphony to God a parallel old man's testimony of survival. The quest of the music isn't just across the United States, but is from childhood to old age and beyond. It transforms Smile from being an assemblage of mid-60s concepts into a layered metaphor of Brian's own endurance. When you hit that Hawaii section at the end, when the music transforms into a joyous bounce, you're celebrating an artistic renewal.

Wow, I never picked up on this until now. Great post!
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« Reply #441 on: July 28, 2022, 12:36:29 PM »

I also think that having Brian’s piece released allowed the later BB “Smile Sessions” release to be further contextualized. I’m not even talking about Brian’s piece being used as a roadmap to piecing stuff together. Rather, Brian’s piece was all of the things so well-put by Wirestone, and that then seemed to change the feeling and vibe of the idea of putting the BB sessions out, for fans/scholars and participants alike.

I’d also argue the BB sessions *not* being released (apart from the bits from the GV box, etc.) made it much more plausible and workable and cathartic for Brian to do his own thing with it. I can’t say it’s literally the only album done in this fashion (meaning taking an ancient, unfinished and unreleased album, and re-recording it as a finished piece), but it’s a rare case I think even if it took 35+ years, the “Smile” ball of wax was finally rolled out in pretty much ideal fashion.

Longtime fans will remember that weird period of time *after* Brian premiered it but before the studio album came out; that was an interesting period of dissecting the best available audience recordings.
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« Reply #442 on: July 28, 2022, 12:47:58 PM »

but it’s a rare case I think even if it took 35+ years, the “Smile” ball of wax was finally rolled out in pretty much ideal fashion.

Honestly Brian's entire career since 2000 has been rolled out in pretty much ideal fashion, in my opinion. Truly the amount of great music that man put into the world between ages 58 and 78 or so is just astonishing and miraculous. And then to have things like Love & Mercy being one of the greatest movies ever made about the creative process, the memoir actually being super good, all these incredible box sets. It's really unbelievable.
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« Reply #443 on: July 28, 2022, 01:04:54 PM »

but it’s a rare case I think even if it took 35+ years, the “Smile” ball of wax was finally rolled out in pretty much ideal fashion.

Honestly Brian's entire career since 2000 has been rolled out in pretty much ideal fashion, in my opinion. Truly the amount of great music that man put into the world between ages 58 and 78 or so is just astonishing and miraculous. And then to have things like Love & Mercy being one of the greatest movies ever made about the creative process, the memoir actually being super good, all these incredible box sets. It's really unbelievable.

I think large hunks of the story since his 1998 reemergence as a solo artist have unfolded ideally.

I think it has still gone sideways from time to time; I don’t think all of the decisions were ideal, and certainly some outcomes were not always ideal. But really, compared to the batting average for the Beach Boys over the years, Brian’s solo years since 1998 haven’t been worse.

I think setting the stage for Brian as a prestige presentation, especially with the PS and Smile tours, was a good move. I think some of the studio albums kind of went wonky. I didn’t hate GIOMH as much as some fans, but it was a pretty wonky album overall. And releasing that ahead of “Smile” was supremely bizarre.

But I do think GIOMH was the right general idea, of taking old unreleased stuff and re-working it (especially if there’s no intention to release the old recordings). I suppose that is actually a strange similarity between GIOMH and Smile; they both re-work old material.

While I think Brian doing “Smile” when he did in 03/04 very much helped to set the stage for where the BBs in pop/music culture are today (to where we can start moving to appreciating the early 70s stuff, for instance), one can’t help but wonder if Brian had been able to put his “Smile” out under the current Capitol/UMe and gave it a really strong social media push, it would probably do even better than it did back in 2004 on Nonesuch, hitting whatever it was, #13 I think. But that’s a weird “what if” that doesn’t make a lot of sense. And hey, a Top 5 album now would probably move less units than a #13 album did back in 2004.

I’ve been surprised as well that they never put out a deluxe reissue of Brian’s “Smile”, with all the backing tracks and whatnot.
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« Reply #444 on: July 28, 2022, 01:21:36 PM »

I’ve been surprised as well that they never put out a deluxe reissue of Brian’s “Smile”, with all the backing tracks and whatnot.

THIS. Personally I think it would be cool to have a dolby Atmos mix of the album (not that it's necessary, but it would be another reason to buy the album). Then disc 2 & 3 has some studio chatter, mixed in with interviews from Darian, Brian, Van Dyke (how likely this would be I have no idea)....all of that intermixed with backing tracks, vocals only highlights, etc. Then disc 4 has the first live show (and considering the live show and the original album are the exact same thing, it would be more for the historical significance of it than anything). Get some nice liner notes with pictures from the 2003/2004 era.

Put that in with a remastered version of Leaf's Beautiful Dreamer documentary, and you've got a great set. Also, don't let it go straight to streaming - make it a digital/physical buy only for the first couple months so you could potentially make a profit from the thing.
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« Reply #445 on: July 28, 2022, 01:38:49 PM »

Honestly Brian's entire career since 2000 has been rolled out in pretty much ideal fashion, in my opinion. Truly the amount of great music that man put into the world between ages 58 and 78 or so is just astonishing and miraculous. And then to have things like Love & Mercy being one of the greatest movies ever made about the creative process, the memoir actually being super good, all these incredible box sets. It's really unbelievable.

It holds up quite well despite all the naysaying and nitpicking when these projects were first rolled out!

All I remember with BWPS is traveling around and checking in with the local big-box stores and shops when it was released, and most if not all were reporting it was sold out.
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« Reply #446 on: July 28, 2022, 02:04:48 PM »



Did anyone from here buy this version?
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« Reply #447 on: July 28, 2022, 02:34:19 PM »

Yes
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« Reply #448 on: July 28, 2022, 02:53:04 PM »

The question on the push back against Da Da being used within water is one I'd like to understand the answer to.  

At risk of beating a dead horse, I’m going to take the bait here and restate what I think has been said in this thread so far about Love to Say Da Da. Frankly, I continue to find this conversation *incredibly* compelling.

In this thread, we learned two dramatic new (to me, anyway!) *facts* about Love to Say Da Da. We learned these fact from tape boxes and the tapes inside of them. No, tape boxes are not the be all and end all of historical information, but, at the same time, they can be a very useful source of *certain kinds* of facts.

Those two facts are, first, that the first version of Love to Say Da Da, recorded in December, was edited onto a tape with the verse of Do You Like Worms, shortly after Brian Wilson had cut the chorus of Do You Like Worms out of the song to use in Heroes and Villains. There ends the fact itself. However, this fact *strongly* suggests that Love to Say Da Da was originally conceived as a discrete song of its own, not as the water section of the Elements.

Now, this fact has led us, collectively, in this thread, to some very interesting new ideas about this song. First, that Love to Say Da Da was probably not conceived as the water section of the elements (and no, we cannot know for sure!), does *not* mean that the song is not associated with water as a theme, but given that I, and many other people, had long assumed that Love to Say Da Da was almost *certainly* explicitly the water section of the elements, it is very, very interesting information.

Secondly, the quotes and ideas that a variety of members have assembled on this board strongly suggest three sets of associations for Love to Say Da Da in December: first, with babies, the “cycle of life” idea, second with water, and third with *Hawaii!* This is a place where the stuff Liz and Angela are saying is actually I think even *more* interesting than they’ve realized. Because, yes, Marilyn’s quote definitely implies a strong connection to babies, and the Hawaiian chant sounds like baby talk. *But* Do You Like Worms is, of course, strongly associated with Hawaii, and if Love to Say Da Da was originally connected to Do You Like Worms, than the Hawaii connection—and the water connection—are incredibly compelling!

The second fact, which, again, was very, very surprising to me, was that the “Water” chant which has been edited onto the beginning of Love to Say Da Da since at least the 90s, was actually not a Smile recording at all. It was recorded in Brian’s home studio to be the *fade* to Cool Cool Water either during the Smiley Smile or Wild Honey sessions. This is a *mind-blowing* discovery to me. Again, this doesn’t mean that there is no association at all between Love to Say Da Da and the idea of water. But it just changes the relationship of those last Smile sessions to the themes and ideas Brian was working with in 1967. It opens up a lot of room for conversation, speculation, theorizing, and wondering.

I agree with guitarfool and others that there are some moments in this thread where the individuals pointing out these new facts were a bit overbearing. But at the same time, these two new facts, learned from tape boxes, have opened up a fascinating conversation. And when that quote about birth and the swimming pool being at body temperature was brought into the thread, explicitly connecting the idea of birth and babies with the idea of water, in an authentic quote from 1966 just days away from the Love to Say Da Da sessions - I mean, that’s the kind of stuff I live for! That is incredible! New information, new facts, lead to new ways of looking at the evidence, new theories, and new ideas. That’s what I see happening in this thread and I love it!!!

No, we did realise it. 

As Ang said she thinks it is a fractal thing where each piece contains the whole and I mention using and layering the different themes in different places - as a classical composer would do - Wager used theme for each person in the Ring, Motzart had 5 themes in the Jupiter etc.  So it seems likely that they would appear in more than one place, perhaps as  vocal in one place or a back ground in others. 

BWPS is Smile though it was magnificent on stage much more so than on the album or the DVD where instead of showing one night they lost atmosphere by flitting about.  And it does have total credibility but I also can't help but wonder what it would have been like had Brian completed it at the hight of his powers and while his voice was still beautiful. 
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« Reply #449 on: July 28, 2022, 07:06:56 PM »

For me, Brian's vocals on BWPS are actually key -- they're what makes the entire endeavor a discrete artistic entity, one deserving of its own recognition and praise. Sure, most of the material had been composed more than 30 years before. But the arrangement, a handful of new lyrics and (above all) his willingness to engage with the material made the project special. This wasn't a remake, it was a resurrection, one as much personal as it was musical.

So hearing the 60-something Brian doesn't just make sense. It deepens the artistic experience. It makes a teenage symphony to God a parallel old man's testimony of survival. The quest of the music isn't just across the United States, but is from childhood to old age and beyond. It transforms Smile from being an assemblage of mid-60s concepts into a layered metaphor of Brian's own endurance. When you hit that Hawaii section at the end, when the music transforms into a joyous bounce, you're celebrating an artistic renewal.

Wirestone GETS IT. Absolutely. 👍
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